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Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir review

Money makes the world go one more round

Pros

  • More open than previous entries
  • Much more than just a campaign
  • Brings genuinely new ideas

Cons

  • Less exciting than previous entries
  • Not beginner friendly
  • Tedious random battles

Love it or hate it, you%26rsquo;ve got to give Storm of Zehir points for effort. Developers Obsidian could easily have banged out a generic adventure for this expansion pack. Instead, they%26rsquo;ve produced a radical overhaul, one that%26rsquo;s not afraid to take a few risks.

They%26rsquo;ve turned the traditional Dungeons %26amp; Dragons RPG into a fantasy trading and empire building game. This doesn%26rsquo;t mean that the classic linear single-playernarrative campaign is out; simply that it%26rsquo;s now complemented by a more open world, and several major new features for both the main campaign and for future mods that want to build more complex campaigns.

The first new feature is the party system. Neverwinter always let you control multiple characters, but in Zehir you%26rsquo;re forced to create a four person party from the outset, rather than recruiting them later.

In doing this, one thing immediately becomes obvious. Zehir damn well expects you to know your onions when it comes to D%26amp;D rules, and Neverwinter%26rsquo;s specific implementation. Creating four characters takes time, especially as you get a boost to roughly Level 3 before the game even starts. You can sidestep the process and have the computer do it for you, but it never does as good a job as you%26rsquo;ll get from manually massaging your stats and feats.

You start the game unarmed and under siege, fighting a small army of monsters, and Zehir is quite prepared to kill your newbie arse right there and then. Nor is death the minor setback it was back in the original game and the first expansion pack, Mask of the Betrayer. Without a Raise Dead spell or suitable magic trinket like a Coin of Life, most of your team can be taken out of action in a single fight. If nobody%26rsquo;s left to limp back to the nearest temple, consider your game well and truly overed. Thank goodness for the auto-save option.

More Info

GenreRole Playing
Description<p>In struggling to serve as both a regular story and a more open-world adventure than previous Neverwinter games, it winds up feeling too flabby for the former and too claustrophobic to let you really ride off in search of your own story. It's still a pretty good RPG, though.</p>
Franchise nameNeverwinter Nights
UK franchise nameNeverwinter Nights
PlatformPC
US censor ratingTeen
UK censor rating
Release date:18 November 2008 (US), 21 November 2008 (UK)
Available platforms:PC
Genre:Role Playing
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